As Comic Artist Laureate of The Netherlands, one of my “duties” is to hand the prestigious Stripschapprijs, Holland’s one and only comics prize, to the winner. This year, that’s Wasco, a remarkable artist whose work has influenced comics makers worldwide.
Despite the current restrictions, I was able to hand him the statuette that comes with the prize, in an almost empty cinema where Wasco was regaled with messages from his friends – you can watch the proceedings (in Dutch) in this YouTube registration.
In my book Love: a Discovery in Comics (just out in stores!) I explore the Seven Year Itch, together with a therapist, who convinces me that what I need is to look about me for a new Love of my Life…
My favorite actor is Robert Carlyle – on whom I have a Celebrity Crush. Check this drawer of almost all of his movies I collected:
The picture of him that I used in the book is his incarnation as Dr. Nicholas Rush in Stargate Universe – where he is a tormented brilliant scientist:
I guess I have a thing for tormented brilliant scientists. Now that I think about it, Yiri is a tormented brilliant scientist in his own right – only a lot less moody than Dr. Rush, and not located at the other end of the universe, which is convenient.
The thing I like most about Robert Carlyle as an actor is his versatility. Look at all these different roles he has played!
From psycho Begbie in Trainspotting (1996)…
…and again in the sequel T2 Trainspotting in 2017…
…to the grieving & dancing widower in the very romantic Marilyn Hotchkiss’ Ballroom Dancing and Charm School (2005)…
… to shady dealmaker Rumplestiltskin in the TV-series Once Upon A Time (2011-2017), which earned him wider fame and a whole new fandom…
… to the awkward barber in The Legend of Barney Thomson, his film directing debut in 2015…
…and British Prime Minister in the upcoming TV-film COBRA:
EDIT: AND, this just in, he played a 78-year old John Lennon in the movie Yesterday that was released this week! Uncredited, but it’s unmistakably him:
…and that’s just a small selection of the many roles he’s played in his 30-year career!
In my book, I have him turn up at the dating agency:
In my book Love: a Discovery in Comics I have drawn one chapter about Love from a religious perspective, taking a look at two scriptures: the Kama Sutra and Song of Songs.
The Kama Sutra is mainly known for its detailing of sexual postures – but it’s so much more! Originally meant for students leaving their guru to go into married life, it gives hints and tips about a lot of things, from decorating your house to recipes for love potions. I drew a 2-page spread depicting the scope of this document.
Then there is the biblical Song of Songs, a highly erotic love song:
I dwell briefly on one of my pet subjects (as people may recognize from my books Philosophy and Religion): the difference in eastern and western spirituality, and therefore the ideas about the body and sex:
When telling ourselves the narrative of our love lives, we are heavily influenced by the tales of love we get fed through books, movies and magazines. I myself am a real sucker for romance novels (especially those set in Victorian England) – which all follow the same formula: there’s a Male and a Female, there’s Attraction, there are Obstacles, and once these are overcome there’s a Happy Ending…
Romance novels are actually a really interesting subject to study for its feminist content! No other book genre has evolved so much over the past decades, reflecting how cultural thinking has changed on the position of women towards the workplace, sex and of course, men.
The Toronto Comic Arts Festival was a blast! It’s one of the biggest and nicest comic festivals I have ever attended, and just like in 2015 (when I was there last) it was wonderful to be there. Even more so, because this time I was Featured Guest and had a premiering book: Love: a Discovery in Comics.
That’s me, loving my new book – and publishers Jeff Whitman and Terry Nantier in the background.
This weekend, my book Love: a Discovery in Comics will be launched at the TCAF Festival in Toronto! I’ll be there, at the NBM stand, together with colleagues Larry Hancock and Michael Cherkas of The Silent Invasion – and they gave me the idea of bringing some freebies to give away:
First of all: bookmarks! Because everybody needs bookmarks, right?
But the special attraction is this mini-booklet containing three pages from the book: Ten Tips for a Broken Heart! Because everybody’s heart gets broken some time…
If you’re at TCAF, come and get yours! And get the book too, it’s full of tips, facts and stories about Love, in all its facets.
In my upcoming book Love: a Discovery in Comics I dedicate one chapter to exploring the concept of “The One”. Is there truth to the notion that there is one perfect mate for each of us out there? An if so, how do we find them?
Hopeless romantic as I am, I love to believe in The One. But with 7 billion people out there, I’m not sure there’s only one. Maybe there’s ideal matches for each phase of life that we’re in…
In my upcoming book Love: a Discovery in Comics I go on a quest for a new True Love (because the Seven-Year Itch hit me). When it comes to Love, everyone and anyone has well-meant advice, and most of it is rubbish. The one thing that ever really worked for me, and I am not hesitant to recommend to others, is to VISUALIZE what you want.
Make a list of every little thing you’d like to see in your partner – how they behave towards you and others, what their preferences are in movies, food and holidays, what they look like, how they dress; every silly little detail that pleases you, whether it’s politically correct or not. The trick is, of course, that once you make yourself aware of what you really want, it’s much easier to recognize it when you stumble across it.
But the most important thing about such a list is not to hang on to it too tightly. After you made it, put it away and forget about it. Around the time I met Yiri, I thought my true love should look like a tall Viking. If I had stuck to that, I would never have discovered that Yiri has a really cool wizard-Viking inside him.
Did I find new love and was it a better one than I already had…?